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Bringing The Internet To Borneo -- By Sea 84

dcigary writes: "CNN has an interesting story about the attempts to bring Maylasian citizens into the Internet Age. Now, they just have to wait until the infrastructure in the country catches up." Actually, this wouldn't be a bad idea of parts of the U.S. (and elsewhere), either.
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Bringing The Internet To Borneo -- By Sea

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  • Do you frequently reply to your own posts? Or is the multiple personality disorder acting up today? :)
  • I'd rather they use the model being used in India, where they're using the powerlines [] as an inefficient but functional network. Instead of paying for these autonomous boats (which burn gasoline and produce bilge and other unsightly byproducts), we should use the existing powergrid to "wire" islands that are already wired. I can't see why they haven't already considered it; it's clearly superior.
  • Okay no one likes me when I make fun of grammar but look at this:

    dcigary writes: "CNN has an interesting story about the attempts to bring Maylasian citizens into the Internet Age. Now, they just have to wait until the infrastructure in the country catches up." Actually, this wouldn't be a bad idea of parts of the U.S. (and elsewhere), either.

    Does this sound right? "Actually, this wouldn't be a bad idea of parts of the U.S. (and elsewhere), either", Arrgh, me grammar ungood!

  • wow... please, tell me you're joking, right?

    although, it is stated that tewwetruggur is four people, and two of them are not here right now, but for god's sake, you'd think if we were dumb enough to anonymously post to our own comment, we'd either have the sense not to sign it, use our real name, or SPELL TEWWETRUGGUR CORRECTLY.


  • Actually ... I live in Boston, and last time I checked I have no ancestory nor relatives in Malaysia/SE Asia. Malaysia is pretty damn developed. Maybe not as well as the US, Britain, etc. but definitely not 3rd world.

  • Everyone, up to and including the UN Development Programme, is telling them that the quickest way to catch up with developed nations is to get wired into the Net. (See link [].So they have more useful applications in mind than swapping MP3s.

    I'd love to see those buffalo-based mobile PCs though. (^_^)

  • Kinda' makes book mobiles look pathetic, huh?

    Seriously though, what are the possibilities for other developments like this? I'm not thinking of access per se as much as hosting, ala Sealand. Sail a converted container ship in international waters, and load that ship up with servers, etc. (One could even have modular data suites fitted into standard sized containers...) I know rough seas would be a problem, but there's surely ways to dampen the shock. Unless the ship is kept in one spot for most of its life, fiber connections would be out meaning all connectivity would be satellite based---big time latency. But that wouldn't be a problem for storage of sensitive data.

  • Now I see the horror of hearing sound blaster noise in the deep jungle of Borneo! No!

    Seriously, actualy FYI, the village kids else where in non-Borneo part of Malaysia are all addicted to the above mentioned game. Good enough indication of how wired they are?

    IAAM (I am a Malaysian), speaking from the most recent cyber-cafe-in-the-village experience.

  • A few of Malaysia's (not Maylasia) big problems:
    1. Racist government (all Malay, no Chinese or Indians despite the fact that they make up a good portion of the population).
    2. Inavailability of basic educational aids like public libraries.
    3. Racist educational standards (see item 1).
    4. Public health. While generally not too bad, open drains and such create health hazards.
    Once these sorts of problems are on their way to being fixed, then start worrying about internet connectivitiy. Bringing in more tech companies (as they are currently trying to do) may very well take care of the internet problem by itself.

  • Hahaha. Smoke signals serve as a router
    Oh, I thought that was the firewall...

    Going on means going far
    Going far means returning
  • IANAM either, but while all those things are important, but Malaysia is in a different category to, say, Sierra Leone or Papua New Guinea (to pick a couple of random examples). As I understand it, Malaysia is industrializing rapidly and it's getting to the point where the country is ready and needs IT skills, and this looks like a cost-effective way of allowing the more remote and impoverished areas of the country in on that.

    BTW, Malaysia could also do with a Prime Minister who isn't so racist, anti-Western (he did his doctorate in Australia and he's hated us ever since), and inclined to throw his political opponents in prison on trumped-up charges, if it wants to convince the world it's a modern democracy.

  • I agree that it's important for people to learn about technology and the Internet, but this is rediculous. Instead of spending millions of dollars promoting the "Internet boat", maybe we should teach these people how to read or write, or buy them some food. I mean my god, there's people who have been living off of termites and dirt for months, but at least they can now chat on AOL while starving a slow, painful death.
  • In his book The Malay Dilemma, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir described Jews as "hook-nosed" people with an "instinctive" feel for money. "Jewish stinginess and financial wizardry gained them the commercial control of Europe and provoked anti-Semitism," I agree, don't believe everything you read.
  • Hah.. I always thought us Canadians were helping those south of our border get wired... Atleast, thats what I spend my days doing. Canadian firm, bought by americans cause the american telco's didn't know how to do high volume web hosting.

    (No, not small name Telcos either). Anyhow, enjoy your internet service, brought to you by canadians, paid for by americans.

    Reminds me a lot of NASA actually...
  • Could it be possible that the internet would force cultures do give up languages for the sake of using the internet? The internet has it's setbacks.
  • They're going to be using the vessel. docking at different villages to teach the villagers how to use computers and the internet, before the infrastructure even gets there. They want to educate. They're building a wan between the villages and giving them net access. They're not even in the building stages, so far blueprints have been submitted, but that's it.
  • wow... yur sew clever... huhuhuhuhuhhu...


  • by Anonymous Coward
    2)The more capitalist a country, the wealthier the average citizen? eg. France $17000, UK $18000, US $21000, Hong Kong $22000

    Tell me about the median, as opposed to the mean wealth in those countries. Bet that tells a slightly different story.


  • Why don't you study the geography of Borneo side of Malaysia before you make the statement? Sometimes I just don't understand the level of idiocracy people could come up with without thinking in the first place.
  • 1.]What connection speed would that be?
    2.]If the boat sinks, that means the connection's down.
    3.]Teach them the future of computing (X). Not Windows.

    Flame me for this post. It's pretty dumb. I never said I was funny.
  • IANAM (I am not a Malaysian) but I am from Asia, and my first impression is that Malaysia is not a country without troubles. You would think that in terms of priorities things like modernizing infrastructure, improving schools, and increasing the GNP would be more important than teaching people to use the internet. That being said, the boat is supposed to only cost about 200,000 USD, which is not all that much money in the grand scheme of things.

    Santa Claus: "Ho ho ho!"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    go here []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Please explain why:

    1)The more capitalist a country, the lower its unemployment levels? eg France 12%, UK 7%, USA 4%, Hong Kong 2%

    2)The more capitalist a country, the wealthier the average citizen? eg. France $17000, UK $18000, US $21000, Hong Kong $22000

    3)The more capitalist a country, the higher its Life Expectancy? eg France 73, UK 73, USA 75, Hong Kong 78

    I'm afraid your talking drivel, my man. The only reason the UK isn't collapsing even now is because Thatcher saved it, with good capitalist policies. Vote Tory, and finish the counter-revolution.

  • Yes!!!! Let's help our Internet-less neighbors in Canada and Mexico. I don't know how many times I've looked into the eyes of the children there, knowing they sought the true knowledge that only the Internet could bring them....
    Come my friends...let us start the Christian Children's Internet Fund...for only $40 a month you can adopt a child and give them DSL access...
    Your adopted child will sent you email correspondence and naked pictures of Sally Struthers....
  • Possibly Malaysia, which is I suppose a 'second world' country, will be able to use the lessons of the West to its advantage.

    The "world" system breakdown:

    1st world - Capitalist/free market, advanced

    2nd world - Communist/socialist, advanced

    3rd world - Not-advanced

    4th world - Primitive

  • Perhaps I should explain how it looks from our end. As reported in the Australian media (which, for all its faults, is *not* significantly influenced by the government and takes a far more international perspective than, say, the American media), Malaysia has fought very hard to keep Australia out of pan-Asian forums, fighting the formation of APEC and, once introduced, has tried to render it irrelevant. Secondly, despite Australia bending over backwards to be nice to the leaders of the region, they seem to feel free to insult us as a convenient target who isn't big enough, unlike the US, to do anything about it. Thirdly, your deputy prime minister was thrown in jail on ridiculous charges on ludicrous evidence. If you want your country to be taken seriously as a modern democracy, that sort of thing doesn't wash too well - with governments, but even more so with the general populace of Australia who haven't learned how to hold their nose when this kind of crap goes on.

    Don't get me wrong - I understand your perspective too - the West *doesn't* have all the answers, and the west does have a tendancy to assume that its solutions are the only ones worth considering, even when we manifestly have our own problems to solve. However, it doesn't change my belief that Malaysia's international image would improve immensely if Dr Mahathir started preparing for a transition to real democracy gracefully rather than repeating what has happened in Indonesia over the past couple of years.

  • Hahaha. Smoke signals serve as a router.
  • >> them "download" to you

    We should meet up at NDSU. We could get the farmer-frat to borrow us some pitchforks, and then we could go throw some cows over the fence some hay. ;-)

    Regional humor. Nothing for the outsiders to see here.

  • by PD ( 9577 ) <> on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @04:25PM (#576622) Homepage Journal
    I watched the sales guy at a Radio Shack for 5 minutes in 1978. He programmed the TRS-80 Model I they had there to print out my name with the TAB() option to zigzag across the screen.


    The useful thing that I learned in that 5 minutes was that I *really* needed to get one of those things.

  • Unimas researchers recently loaded computers onto buffaloes for the final stretch of their voyage to Bario, an isolated community in Sarawak's Kelabit highlands and home of another university IT project.
    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a buffalo-load of computers.
  • ... internet access from Malaysian boats has a promising future.
  • Many of you (esp. those in Europe) don't realise how primitive some parts of the US actually are. There are still folks in Louisiana and Appalachia without electricity (true, it's by choice these days), and running water is not even everywhere. In many rural areas landowners have wells and septic fields/tanks. In drier areas (such as in the mountains here in Colorado) water is precious enough in some remote parts that toilets are still of the wooden-outhouse variety. I still remember a souvenir shop near Buena Vista which had naught but an outhouse. 'Twas most amusing.

    so yes, even parts of the US might find a similar idea attractive.

    As to its efficacy, I'm not so certain. It seems like it won't exactly be doing much for these people. We're not talking about the US, where 'puters are cheap and money is relatively easy to come by. I daresay that a lot of the third world has more important things on its mind than running networks between villages. But perhaps I'm wrong.

  • I hate to disappoint you, but no I am not.
  • big thank you to the asshole who moderated this down. if you had read the book before you spurted your mod point you may have gone the other direction. fuck you for your support.
  • regarding internet access (AFAIK). I don't know if its as bad as china, but still.

    The point being, why bother with this if nobody's allowed to do anything on the net anyways?

    And don't even get me started about 'muslims only being allowed to vote' there.

  • Many people think of a place that doesnt' have the internet as remote and desolate, when they don't always realize what they are saying. Most places have the ability to use a cheap dialup now adays, but other than that some places are left in the dust. Many places in the US don't have access to DSL, ISDN, Cable, etc, and all the people who do often call those people (such as myself) just too much of a cheap bastard to pay for it (even though i am, but thats besides the point that i dont have it in my area). There are probably places in the US (yes, mostly remote areas of alaska and small islands of hawaii about the size of my desk) that dont even have net access at all. Starting to fill in the gaps is the start of making the net more widely used for everyday things.
  • When 75% of the world's population doesn't know where its next meal is coming from, Linux/Internet is the least of their concerns.
  • by kabeeb ( 241085 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:30PM (#576631)
    How much can a brief exposure to a computer allow people to learn anything useful? It seems lke a lot of money to spend for a limited end.

    It may be better for countries to invest in putting permanent centers in every town, even if they are old computers and no internet access. Internet access could come with time, and in the meantime the catch-up could begin.

  • by tewwetruggur ( 253319 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:30PM (#576632) Homepage
    If we can use the sea to connect to the internet, then think of all the nodes... your sink, the toilets... man, the internet would be everywhere! Download while you download... although all that water can't be good for keeping firewalls.

  • >..seemed quite perplexing...
    >Bringing the Internet to Borneo -- By Sea
    >So, what does that mean?

    Ahhh - it got lost in the subediting - heres the original second para, before the sub decided he needed to cut another 13 words to fit the article between the ads...

    "The vessel will cruise the jungle-fringed Rajang River in the state of Sarawak, towing a high bandwidth cable recently liberated from the seabed just off Singapore, docking at villages every few hours..."
  • What are they using for the link? Packet Radio? Satellite? Native Drummers?
    I will never live out my dream of having a live-on boat until there is at least DSL comparable, afordable, wireless networking available worldwide.

    Going on means going far
    Going far means returning
  • I hope that they bring internet into melasia. I think that the more people are open to the internet the more they are open to other cultures. I've heard lots of things over the years about stereo types and all of them have been proven by my encounts online..
  • I'm surprised by the amount of idiotic and clueless postings in /. and these people, I presume are at least educated at some level.

    I suggest that before you make a remark that'd make a complete fool of yourself, read and study the subject.

    Not denying that some things are crappy in Malaysia, like the polical situations - it is being a non-perfect country, but hey - even US is crappy in many things including the political situations.

    For reference, Borneo is a large island divided into three - Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. The Malaysian part is scarcely populated and mostly jungle. In the cities even in some remote towns, ISDN lines are available and during the last Eco-Challenge in Sabah, they're using fiber-optic network provided by the national Telekom company.

    Boats had to be used and the design of the boat differs because the the rainforest rivers in Borneo are different.

  • I just can't help but be reminded of that bit in Understanding Comics: "You're going to BORNEO?!?

    " Unfortunately the graphic doesn't appear to be on McCloud's web site. Oh well.

  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speter@t e d a t a> on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:31PM (#576638) Journal
    ...seemed quite perplexing...

    Bringing the Internet to Borneo -- By Sea

    So, what does that mean? You put a request in at your local seaport to have them "download" to you, then wait two weeks for the shipment to come?

    Man, I'd hate to figure out what it'd be like to download games!
  • Modems require computer and PSTN lines, which at most the remote places, there aren't even phone lines.

    I believe the boats supposed to bring the computers to one village and another, giving them chances to learn about computers and connect to the outside world.

    This is much faster than laying the cables to remote areas and islands where population is not enough to generate revenue for the Telco companies. No comapny would do that if there's no revenue in it... so I guess someone have to do something quickly that these people get connected.

    Education is very important to developing country.
  • > If we can use the sea to connect to the internet, then think of all the nodes... your sink, the toilets...

    Now's you mention it, I do see a lot of toilet bowls bearing a little sticker that says "Designed for use with Windows98". I always thought the Unix support staff stuck them there for a rude joke, but maybe I was wrong.

  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @07:29PM (#576641)
    Perhaps some of you 'young' people who have grown up with computers and the Internet all your lives don't understand how valuable or influential a five minute exposure to something cool can be.

    My very first exposure to a computer was in 1986 when I saw a friend's dad use Printshop on his PC to print out a birthday card. That totally blew me away! From that day on, I longed for the day when I could afford my own PC to do exactly the same thing.

    My friends dad had only demonstrated the PC for 5 minutes, but that was enough to set me on my career path of IT. So while I can understand how people may think that PD is being funny, his comment actually is insightful and it is five minute exposures like the one PD described that do launch a lot of people's careers!

  • Read that headline and had a vision of chartered merchant shipping delivering packets by the container-load.


    ping reply: 4-6 weeks, depending on weather

    Must... get... head sorted

    Ben^3 (Hey, at least it's not by Virgin Trains)
  • by Kiss the Blade ( 238661 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:48PM (#576643) Journal
    In the long run, I think Thrird world countries will benefit from being tardy to take up the internet.Consider the experience of London in the 19th century, when it was the most technologically advanced city on Earth. It meant that it was the first city to deal with the associated problems - pollution, crime, sanitation, desease, transportation etc City's that came after, such as New York, were able to learn from the experience that London had already encountered, and plan accordingly. The problem with being a pioneer is that you don't have any examples to go on when you encounter problems.

    Possibly Malaysia, which is I suppose a 'second world' country, will be able to use the lessons of the West to its advantage.

    Possibly, as it does not have much of an infrastructure at the moment, when it does get one it will be modern and designed for the internet specifically, in the same way that London's street plan is 'designed' for Victorian times, and consequently Victorian levels of traffic, wheras Los Angeles was designed in the age of the car, and so is a much more pleasant place to drive a car in.

    KTB:Lover, Poet, Artiste, Aesthete, Programmer.

  • by canning ( 228134 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:49PM (#576644) Homepage
    Three Sarawak manufacturers have submitted blueprints for the craft whose maiden voyage is scheduled for June 2001.
    a three hour tour, a three hour tour.

    This just in......... US authorities reported sometime after midnight on June 28th, a highly distructive virus was unleashed on the world. These same people believe the virus dubbed 'the love boat' originated somewhere within the state of Sarawak, possibly near the Rajang River
    "We can't get an excact position of the transmissions, it almost appears to be moving away from us.", explains chief investigator Ronald Chatten, "We're optimistic that the perpetrators will eventually slip up, and when they do we'll sink they're ship, metophorically speaking of course".

  • Scott McCloud's book Understanding Comics [] has a cartoon [] about a guy named Carl who crashes his car after drinking and driving. After the main cartoon (which is interesting mainly as an example of how stories can be very long or very short with the same basic elements), there are alternative versions; in one, as I recall, Carl says he's driving away to Borneo. This reaction ensues. The absurdity is that (a) Borneo is very far away from the US; and (b) you can't drive your car there, as it's surrounded by ocean.
  • It's much more than the US is doing for its neighbors.

    I'm all for U.S. bashing in it's necessary situations...but I am curious as to what you are talking about. The U.S.'s two biggest neighbors, Canada and Mexico, are as high tech as the U.S. is, although there is less money in Mexico so a smaller percentage of people get to use the internet. Actually though, from talking with people in Canada, they seem to have a better environment for internet related business than the U.S. does. And as far as Mexico, I know a lot of stuff going on there that I have not seen in the U.S. yet. They have had cable modems for many years in Guadalajara through companies like MegaRed [], and they had prepaid pagers and cellphones before I even heard about anything like that in the U.S. The latest thing that I think is starting to come out in the U.S. is some sort of wireless phone connection to your house. I'm not sure how it works but I know my girlfriend's parents have it at their house. They have an antenna or something on their roof, and that connects to their phone and it's cheaper than a landline via the phone monopoly Telmex.

    I think that what should be done is to help people in the U.S. such as politicians. They have obviously never used computers, otherwise they wouldn't continue to try to pass such stupid laws. I saw we donate our old equipment to them and set up free ISP accounts so we can try to show them exactly what the internet is and how we use it. Then, even though they are being bought by big business, they could at least cut down on some of the stupid laws because it would possibly affect them.

    I dream of a world where Jesse Helms has a deCSS mirror, and Bob Dole is downloading the new N'Sync album from Napster. Hmmmm...nevermind, that just sounds scary.

  • "As reported in the Australian media (which, for all its faults, is *not* significantly influenced by the government and takes a far more international perspective than, say, the American media)"

    In most cases, it is very much exaggerated. For some reason Australian media tend to hit the Malaysian government very hard.

    "than repeating what has happened in Indonesia over the past couple of years."

    Ok,let me get this straight... Malaysia is NOT Indonesia. Just because we speak more or less the same language and the natives are of the same race, it doesn't make us an identical country. If I were to be more naive, I would say Australia and New Zealand is same (is it?).

    Recently, I attended this lecture which groups Malaysia with Indonesia as countries who burn their forest for agriculture... oh please! The last thing we need is to add to the smog created by forest fire in Indonesia. Trust me, we are cursing left and right of the air pollution thanks go Indonesia and we don't intend to contribute more.

  • Then you sure as hell didn't grow up there, you are probably from some pansy ass small town, and don't know how to drive in a proper city. Having grown up there, I can say that LA has good drivers (except for the nips, but they suck everywhere), and can be quite fun to drive. Where else is the speed limit 80, and you have 5 lanes each way on the freeway? I just wish I still lived there.
    ---GEEK CODE---
    Ver: 3.12
    GCS/S d- s++: a-- C++++ UBCL+++ P+ L++
    W+++ PS+ Y+ R+ b+++ h+(++) r++ y+
  • I recently visited Malaysia, and found net access in towns and cities to be on or above par with the quality available elsewhere. Access was about the same as in Thailand, and better than the Phillipines or Vietnam. Singapore is a much more western country and has had a much higher per capita income since Malaysia was formed. Singapore also is a small citified country, whereas Malaysia is large and much less densely populated. Access to reliable phone lines and reliable power, in addition to income greatly influences internet access.
  • Should we get Sally Struthers to help these poor, impoverished people stuck on dialup? C'mon. Internet accesss isn't everything. In america, we got things(quality of life, etc) GOOD.

    dust. Many places in the US don't have access to DSL, ISDN, Cable, etc
  • sorry for this post but i think my browser is broken
  • by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @05:15PM (#576652) Journal
    I wonder how many nodes of the type [] recently described here [] on /. you could buy for $250,000. Instead of a boat with 20PCs why not run a cheap and dirty 803.11b network and connect these communities permanently?

  • When I was tuned to receive random chats on ICQ a few tears ago,I received one from a 17 year old girl in Malaysia.Borneo is a different island,which Malaysia owns part of.I beleive it's sparsely populated.BTW,either your reviewer has it wrong as to the spelling of Malaysia,or I am in error.

  • Now *that* was insightful. I'm serious. That one five minute 'lesson' has lead to what? A rewarding well paid career! I remember the same kind of thing happening to me.
  • Ok,let me get this straight... Malaysia is NOT Indonesia.

    No, I never said you were, and I didn't mean to imply that. However, as you yourself pointed out, you do share similar languages, culture, religion, and history - actually, just like Australia and New Zealand share those things. You also have the situation of a one dominant political party in power for many years held together by a charismatic, but aging, leader, and corruption fraying its edges, and ethnic and religious minorities who sometimes aren't all that happy with rule from the capital. That's the parallel I was drawing.

    In most cases, it is very much exaggerated. For some reason Australian media tend to hit the Malaysian government very hard.
    The Australian media tend to be *much* harder on their own government. We have a tradition of our media being extremely forthright. They don't pick on Malaysia specifically.
    Recently, I attended this lecture which groups Malaysia with Indonesia as countries who burn their forest for agriculture... oh please! The last thing we need is to add to the smog created by forest fire in Indonesia. Trust me, we are cursing left and right of the air pollution thanks go Indonesia and we don't intend to contribute more.

    Yeah, I'd be angry with them too, and it is annoying when people misunderstand the differences between neighbouring countries - as you have undoubtedly found out if you call a New Zealander "Australian" or a Canadian "American".

    And, finally, don't confuse the fact that I'm not impressed with your Prime Minister with that I hate Malaysia or Malaysians. I don't. There are many admirable things about your country. And feel perfectly free to say what you like about Australia and its politicians. If you think that our prime minister is an ignorant little man who isn't fit to lead a primary school, go ahead and say it. About 50% of the Australian population says so regularly :)

  • That is correct, The denomination was designed for earlier times
  • Ah! The good ol' college fraternity idea. Like cramming as many people as you can into a fone booth, and then worrying about the ill effects after you break the campus record
  • All I can say is that SOMEBODY got a nice, fat contract to build a shitty little tug with 20 PC's on it. I know that a quarter-mil doesn't sound like a lot to us in the First World, but you could do a hell of a lot with that kind of cash in Malaysia. This project is tokenism, and won't benefit *anybody* on the client side.

    If they are so concerned with providing basic internet education and getting people "on board" (sorry for the pun), then they will are much more likely to succeed by focusing on leveraging the infrastructure they DO have (schools, libraries, other public buildings) in the semi-rural areas, and working outward.

    This boat idea is just for show ("showboat"?). How many country hicks do you think will "get it" in a couple of hours? You might as well be showing them movies or letting them play video games for all the education they'll be getting.

    (Then again, touring around the backcountry, teasing the natives with technology they won't be able to afford for a generation, and raking in the loot sounds like a pretty good gig to me...)
  • Judging that these people have never seen a computer before. Or atleast the fact that maybe they have seen a computer and have never used them. What good is this computer boat going to do? The boat will come in and teach a limited number of people for a limited amount of time. Then it will go off to another port. It seems that this money could be used in other ways to help out the IT movement in this country. I could see possibly if the boat had more computers then 20. That seems like such a small number. There has to be more then 20 students in each port of call. So basically a limited number of students would be getting selected to learn more about computers and the internet. Also how would these students be selected? A lot of times richer students seem to have more advantages in poorer countries so maybe the rich students would have access to learning more about the computers. This seems like a supposed good idea but in the long run it seems like it will waste a lot of money and only see meak results. I guess it would be hard to keep up with Slashdot if you had to wait for the internet boat to roll on into port. Imagine the amounts of spam at your hotmail account using this system :) ->neotope []
  • by Adam9 ( 93947 )
    Even more wingate power to the kiddies..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You've never been to Malaysia have you? I thought Slashdotters knew better than to throw out stereotyped comments like that. Sure in Malaysia we have problems like a monopolistic telecommunication industry but those four items you listed is hardly valid at all. The current central government is made up of 3 component parties, each representing the major races in Malaysia. No Public libraries? Are you on crack? Racist educational standards? Please elaborate? There are schools for everyone here in Malaysia. The standard of education (read quality) is another thing though..... but its safe to say it was good enough to teach me to read,write and count.
  • *grumble* This post and all its replies were filled with IANAM disclaimers. Anyway, I AM a Malaysian (living in the US atm) and I thought I'd chip in my two cents.

    In terms of infrastructure, schools and the like, Malaysia isn't all that far behind even places like the US. Just about everyone has access to education up to the secondary (high school) level. Granted, some areas may not have the best teachers, but there are places like that in the rural US too. The amenities expected in the US such as roads, telephones, internet, etc, all exist in M'sia and I don't feel their loss when I spend time there. Some things are even better than the US, like the bleeping wireless phone network. 10 miles out of Boston and I can't get reception on my phone?

    What most foreigners don't know is that M'sia is doing its best to push forward into the information age, the same way the Japanese pushed themselves into heavy industry a while back. The Multimedia Super Corridor mentioned in the CNN article is an ongoing effort with the full weight of the government behind it to build a Silicon Valley in that region of the world. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being poured into that area and there are quite a few companies already operating out of that area. With that much emphasis on IT and that much money pouring in, it's not unexpected that there would be some change to try to bring the not so fortunate parts of the country up to speed.

    Having said my piece, yeah, that article looks like buzzword compliance. Notice this line from the article:

    Khairuddin said Unimas would apply to the government's IT council for the 1.5 million ringgit it needed for the Internet boat project.

    They don't even have funding yet. I'll bet it's some ambitious dean out to get a little publicity for himself. We get those types in Malaysia too :)
  • Are they going to educate them about the Internet economy [] also?
  • Heh, ok so I don't know where my next meal is coming from but that's because there are plenty of choices for great food and I haven't managed to decide yet!

    I pity those those of you who know for certain that their next and future meals are coming from some pizza takeaway.


  • Powerlines would be a good idea, except much of Borneo isn't connected to the national grid. I believe it is these same remote communities the boat is intended to reach.
  • Now I can fufill my dream to teach Maylasia, and other 3rd world countries, reading and writing via telecommuting.. Do you I get to donate my canned goods this way too? *Dont throw that 486 away! Think about the maylasians with only commodore64's!*
  • if only Borneo is connected to the national grid, but unfortunately is not, Borneo or Sarawak where the project is targeted is a very hilly area, with thick forest and almost no roads at all, sea transport is one of the most efficient way to get into the village
  • I am Malaysian, and Malaysia is hardly what I'd described as a troubled country. Relative political stability, widely available medical care (save for the remotest regions), good schooling and (at least in my state) a comfortable standard of living. That said, a million Ringgit sounds a little bit much to be spending, and would probably serve better as funding for (as someone else suggested) more permanent facilities. As for Mahathir (Malaysia's Prime Minister) being racist- I doubt if that's the correct term to be using. Being racist and being suspicious of foreign powers (particularly those with multinational companies whose market value easily outweigh the entire Malaysian stockmarket) aren't quite the same thing. Don't believe everything you read ;)
  • I AM MALAYSIAN, well first of all, i guess the best person to clarify things is someone who is from malaysia itself. i dont think someone who just read magazines and listen to news knows better than ppl like me , the locals. i have to agree that Malaysia has alot of problem, but is not that much of a big deal as most of you know. 1) racist government (total BULLSHIT to me), it is a know formula by the government in giving more priority to the minority and the muslim race, but this was agreed by all parties in the government coalition which makes up of 15 political party. (the government coalition has won every election since independent and has never lost more than 1/3 of the parliament, that tells us the amount of mandate the gov gets compare to 50/50 in the USA) 2) no basic education? another bullshit to me, the only problem about our education is the lack of teachers and classrooms, the babyboom is so great that the supply for teachers has never able to fill the gap, some of the class has 50 students which i think is not a good standard, but nevertheless, the gov is spending more money on education than any field (almost 1/3 in the latest federal budget) 3)racist education (pure bullshit), i have not read any book in school or college that tells me to kill or hate other race, it is true that the racists problem is getting much headlines recently, but it is not the education's problem. this problem was started sometime ago, by the some small portion of extremist. 4)i can rate Malaysia top 2 in SouthEastAsia, or maybe we share 1st with Singapore. But we cant really compare with Singapore, as Singapore is an island nation and is much easier to develop considering the size of the island compare to Malaysia. My final statement, Malaysia has her own problem, but is not as bad, and the Government is working at their best to make the living standard better. ndrew
  • it maybe true that someone behind the project will get a pocket full of $ from this project, but what is the real cost of the project? first of all, the price is just a projection, they have not been funded and no money has been wasted yet. us$0.25m = RM1million 20pc - that will be about rm100k the boat - around 300k - 500k could be more (im not sure, it depends on the facilities on board and size) internet line (100k for satellite link) or more fuel and manpower(100 - 200k) thats my basic calculation, well it all depends on how long the project will go on( 1year - 3years?) and who is involve, students or professionals or NGOs. So the money issue is not that a problem. By the way us$0.25mil is a small sum to Malaysian. We are no longer a 3rd world country. I am Malaysian ndrew
  • i second this arguement, comparing Singapore is link comparing HK and china
  • it really hurts to see so many intelligent people being so ignorant about the world at large and jumping to conclusions that seem to be based on McDonald's 'Geogfry' rather than a basic understanding of what's going on the world.

    Firstly, mainland Malaysia has some of the best connections in the region. I fact the system is that good, that Thailand and Vietnam are routing most Internet traffic through leased lines in Malaysia.

    Next, as Malaysia produces about 45% of the middle and lower end computer components of the world market, you should maybe refrain from making funny remarks about the tech know-how of the country. Chances are, without Made-in-Malaysia components your boxes wouldn't work - or would have cost about 20% more.

    Also, Malaysia was the first country to start major government initiatives to make the country into an IT hub - and had the first cyberlaws, long before the US got their task force reports that told them to do something.

    Finally, if things work as planned, the Malaysia and Expats living in Malaysia will give the next generation of Yank-geeks a run for their money.

    So, next time when you see fancy photos of jungles and touristy performances by savages, think a while, get a map, browse for backgound info and then make up your mind.

    Outside 'The Valley' and a few other 'Tech Focus' areas, the U.S. is as much an IT backwater as most other countries are. Having DSL, doesn't meen tha Joe Average would know how on Earth to get out of the AOL site and find his way around on the net.

    Just an informed opinion and a few facts...
  • FYI - unemployment in the UK is between 1 and 2 percent
    • Borneo is only part of Malaysia on the Eastern side. Large land area, mostly rainforests, of which the interior can only be reached by air or river. For the Americans, compare Sarawak with Alaska
    • Re: Malaysian 'net users, on another thread:
      Think masses and masses of AOL lusers. Problem is we (the rest of the clueful) don't have a big enough LART.
    • There's really something wrong with the local media, 'cause I'd never catch this news anywhere! Strange, since they are usually very prone to thumping their own chests. Then again, I've stopped really the extremely filtered (putting it mildly) media. But that's another rant for another day.
  • I would pay a hell of a lot more for a wired buffalo than I would for some crappy boat. Now that's untouchably cool man!
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2000 @02:35PM (#576676)
    I live on a remote desert island, and for my IP services I have to save up all my packets for a week, and ship them out on the boat that swings by to drop off medical supplies. I get the replies a week later.

    This really makes for slow downloads, which means I hardly ever get that coveted f1r57 p057.

  • I think Malaysia had something like that before [] except it was on land. It was some sort of van that travelled around Malaysia and taught children how to use the internet. I'm glad that Malaysia is taking the initiative to help its 3rd world neighbors and itself out with the high-tech world. It's much more than the US is doing for its neighbors.


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